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As an educator for more than 23 years, I know — like you do — what it’s like to do the hard work on the ground; to not just observe the problem of deep educational inequities and outcomes in our schools, but to roll up my sleeves early every morning and stay up late every night to fix it. Like many of you, I know what it is to be constantly immersed in the work of improving supports for teachers and outcomes for students.

And, like you, I’ve learned how important it is to step back and reflect: to get a different view of the classrooms, the schools, the communities, the districts, the states in which we work, zooming out for the perspective gained from seeing the big picture and zooming in to the bright spots for critical lessons learned.

Each year in November, The Education Trust National Conference offers that fresh breath and perspective equity-minded educators like us need. It provides a yearly gathering place for connecting with like-minded colleagues, testing new ideas and refreshing old ones, learning from stellar schools and efforts, and absorbing thinking and ideas on critical topics from some of the best minds in the field.

This year’s Education Trust 2014 National Conference contains two days of compelling speakers, timely and strategically focused sessions, meaningful professional networking, and the salty Old Bay seasoning and warmth that is characteristic of my hometown of Baltimore. You will leave retooled, refreshed, reenergized, and ready to BE the change you want to be for your students, your schools, and your districts.

With the promise and challenge of implementing the Common Core, this moment is too important — our students are too important — for us to miss an opportunity to maximize our collective strengths. Bring your school and district leadership teams, invite your partners from the advocacy community, and join hundreds of passionate educators and educator allies to advance opportunity and achievement for all students.

Together, we ARE the change we want to see. Join us this November.

I hope to see you there.

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